Goldman Sachs Nonchalant in The Senate Hearing
Reading the first report on Goldman Sachs (GS) officials’ testimony to the Senate I realized how difficult it is to write a report on anything that can really capture the emotions that witnessing the original event evoked.
This internet report started with, “Top Goldman Sachs officials defended their conduct in the financial crisis on Tuesday, flatly disputing the government’s fraud allegations against the giant financial house.”
I cannot fault with this beginning, for this accurately describes what went in the hearing. Neither do I have any problem with the facts presented in the report. What I complain about is the sheer drama that I miss in this report that I enjoyed with the question-answers in the Senate session.
When the junior Senator from Missouri, Claire Conner McCaskill accused the GS officials of creating synthetic CDs and giving them exotic names only to hide from people their true nature, and they are named synthetic because there is no substance in them, I felt there was a hush in the Senate.
When maverick John McCain made a short statement calling the GS actions unethical, I felt this was a reflection of true bipartisan spirit. When Sen. Levin grilled Daniel Sparks, the former head of Goldman’s mortgages department, you could see in his body language how hard he was trying to hide the truth.
If these most brilliant officers of our time, without whom the US and the world economy would trash overnight, reacts this way in front of the senators how would they react in front of the respected judges in the real court—I bemused.
Then I heard the 31-year-old Executive Director Fabrice Tourre proclaiming boldly, I am innocent and I will prove it in the court, and I realized it would be an entirely different ballgame in the judiciary. In court, the GS fraudsters would be supported by the best lawyers money can buy, in the most powerful judiciary money can influence, against the best government money can buy.
GS would survive, with a little dent may be, but it would not lose its premier trading house position; I bet my good dollar on it.